Friday, September 29, 2017

Singpost POP Stations

I re-contracted my mobile phone line and got a free phone! OK, so that's not new, most people choose to keep their existing phones and get a free tablet instead but I find tablets quite strenuous to hold. 

Instead of delivering it to my home, the new phones are delivered to a Singpost POP station. I've yet to use one of these so this is my first time checking it out. POP stations are similar to the PO boxes of old, only instead of leasing it on a yearly basis, it's chargeable on a per use basis.

So you scan a QR code or key in the details and a locker pops open with your item inside, all packaged into 1 easy bundle. So convenient!

I had to get a new phone coz my phone screen finally cracked. I've dropped my phone many times before and it has never cracked until now. I was shopping around for a new phone and couldn't find anything I really wanted so I got the $0 phone instead and it's a pink LG.

 It cannot shoot HD videos but those phones have tiny storage anyways, so you really cannot take more than a couple minutes of footage. Other than that, its pretty much the same (Android enabled) with the option of expandable storage (something my old phone didn't have).

This bundle came with a free protective transparent casing so it will protect the phone and I don't have to shop around for something pretty to cover it with. Stopped at Koufu food court for some high tea before heading home. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

Vacation in Bandung (Part 2)

Drinking Teh Botol, a popular drink in Indonesia and the first time I tried it I was surprised to find out its actually 香片 + sugar.

Morning breakfast @ hotel buffet.

Stopped outside the historical Asia Africa Museum for a look.

Famous Indonesian Luwak Coffee or civet cat coffee that is expensive, imagine $35 for 5 sachets of coffee. They raise live civet cats here and almost took one out for us to pose with for pictures.

Visited the Pulosari Natural Hot Spring but we didn't make it far into the site. Our group stopped at an open fountain to get foot massages and ice-cream.

Just outside the Hot Springs is an open market. I think we bought some avocados and keropok. It's mostly winter wear, toys and grocery stores.

Our bus stopped by the side of the road to get more fruits. The fruits of choice here in Bandung seem to be bananas, avocados, pineapples and perfectly shaped pumpkins with the odd potato and sugarcane thrown in.

The highlight at lunch was that fried flying fish and soup, everywhere its soto ayam that is just amazing I can have it everyday. Added a coconut coz we've been seeing it around but haven't had a chance to eat it yet.

First factory outlet we stopped by was at a bean-curd making factory, so you can get a drink and bite to eat if you are not interested in shopping. $20 jeans are really attractive but I really do not need anymore clothes so I browsed the food stalls and bought this box of vanilla mochi for 32,000 IDR.

Second shopping stop of the day, Fashion World Indonesia RWI where they were advertising 50,000 IDR leggings and 99,000 IDR T-shirts. Not bad, until I found these designer perfumes at less than 100,000 IDR each. Great time to start a perfume collection.

Last stop at Rumah Mode Factory Outlet, as advertised throughout the airport. This place is beautifully done up like a resort, with several eateries and one huge shopping center. I didn't get anything inside Rumah Mode outlet, but I did stop by the food center to take a look and ended up buying a whole bunch of food items like my aunts. All this for sgd $25.

Our last dinner here, local Indonesian food and I am beginning to sense a trend. Deep fried tofu, coconut rice, super hot sambal, fluffy oily scrambled eggs, raw veges with rojak dip, crispy deep fried fish, satay. Well, tonight we had chicken or maybe its pigeon given the number of raw pigeon meat stalls we saw at the market. This time around, my mom bought some fresh raspberries off a street vendor and the restaurant kindly washed it and served it to us after our meal.

Last minute purchases from Alfa Mart 24 hours, before heading back to the hotel room to pack. The pharmacies and super-marts here are well stocked. Facial wash, body wash and these pain relief plasters are almost 1/3 the price compared to Singapore.

Last minute shopping at the airport duty free, original Ralph Lauren at 50% discounts and more, the T-shirts are 199,000 IDR.

Back at Changi Airport, I got a mini bottle of rose moscato $11.50. We're allowed 5 mini bottles or 1 big bottle of wine, tax free.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Vacation in Bandung (Part 1)

Travelling by Silkair run by Singapore Airlines. Anywhere in Asia its always Silkair and there are only economy or business class seats.

Lunch at a Jap restaurant after checking into our flight. I used the receipt to enter Changi Millionaire draw. This year there is an additional Volvo car prize for people who spend more than $500 in one receipt.

National Day display in the center of the terminal.

Random vending machine outside the waiting lounge. You can buy stuff like cables and ear plugs but the random option is always fun. I tried it twice and got a pair of socks and an international adapter plug, 2 things I needed.

First dinner here in Bandung, we decided to eat at Restaurant Braga in the Braga district known for its cafes and music clubs. No live music here tonight but it didn't matter. We were here for this old almost historic place serving western and local dishes.

For dessert, old world charmers like cannoli, baked alaska and a special banana yoghurt cake. I've posted some new videos on youtube on my dinner here.

Check out the variety available, there is a whole bread counter I didn't take pictures of.

Driving along the streets of Bandung, the old style train still runs frequently, some locals still travel around by horse cart. The sides of the road are filled with food carts and warungs stack plates on their open windows to let patrons know what's on offer that day.

We headed southwest to the famous Kawah Putih Lake. The weather was nice and breezy, it took just a short walk into the nature reserve to see the green-yellow pools of water. It's really quite different, I've never seen anything like it before.

Glamping @ Tea Farm, if nobody told me I wouldn't have known it was a tea farm. The surrounding tents are for rent and the highlight truly has to be the Nasi Campur served in the wood ship in the middle of the plantation.

There are quite a few Strawberry Farms in Kawah Putih, as evidenced by the street vendors hawking all types of berry products and even soft toys. We stopped by one such farm to get some pre-packed fresh strawberries although they do offer picking by the pound for tourists. 

Lunched at this authentic bamboo thatch hut place.

Indonesian food in general is delicious and the presentation here is amazing. I would advise everyone to stay away from the sambal in Indonesia as it is hot! One bite and we were sweating from the chili fumes.

Just before heading back to Bandung town, stopped by a deer farm to feed those cute reindeers. When I turned around to head back to the bus, there were these tiny little black chickens hiding in the wood stock.

Surprise angklung performance in the evening when we arrived back in Bandung. First time watching an Indonesian traditional dance and I haven't heard one of these instruments since my school days.

Dinner at a hipster Chinese-Indonesian restaurant called Kampung something. Every dish was really good especially that sweet corn and egg drop soup. The restaurant even helped to wash the strawberries we bought and plate it up for dessert.

Souvenirs from Day 1 in Bandung Indonesia. Most were from the souvenir shop next door to the place we had dinner at. I got orange squash that seems to be the thing here, strawberry dodol and syrup as well as that cushion from Kawah Putih farms, some packets of green clay from the actual Kawah Putih Lake. The street vendors sell these ladies handbags in a pack of 10 so you can bring it home as souvenirs, I really like the batik print ones.